Monday, 2 April 2007

REVIEW: The Aviators


By Charlette Hannah

In the way we humans have an irrestible urge to box and categorise things, I decided first of all to insert The Aviators in a lounge jazz/dub container. How wrong I turned out to be! Their first song at the Southern Cross on Saturday night was the cruisiest of the lot, and I mistakenly put it in a box I don't particularly like. I decided they were good, but not my sort of thing. As the set progressed they got funkier and funkier, until people just couldn't contain themselves and funked it up on the dance floor, whooping and grooving. Yes, grooving. I thought that was out of fashion, but I have since learned the error of my un-groovy ways.

A seven piece band, The Aviators have the standard bass, guitar, drums and vocals, but they also add in a percussionist, trombonist, and sax player. You can tell they're going to be different just looking at the line up.

I have to admit it took me a few songs to figure out what was going on. They are such good musicians it's hard to tell if a song is rehearsed, a jam, or a combination of the two. In the end though, it doesn't matter. These guys are tight, creative, rhythmic and great fun. Their songs are dynamic, unpredictable, and interesting. They're also good solid tunes with fine instrumentation.

It's satisfying to see a band who are so good live. Some bands appear to be just trying to get through playing their recording live, or getting through the live show so someone will make a recording of them. The Aviators on the other hand are lively, full of stage presence, and great to watch as well as listen to. With seven members, it would be boring if they all played all the time, and yet you barely seem to notice if one isn't playing, because they're dancing up there on the stage. Singer Ned Worboys has one of the best voices I've heard in a while – smooth and yet full of character, and he plays around with his vocal delivery too. The only complaint I would have is that the vocal mix at times wasn’t quite loud enough – when the band went into overdrive the vocals were drowned out.

I visited their website and and found this, which amused me, so I decided they could have a say in their own review. “...we play funk, crunk and grime. Not because we know what those genres are, but because they sound cool.”

Check them out if you get the chance. I believe they've got an album coming out soon.

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